I haven't seen "Monster" yet, but I have seen and read everything in my reach about Aileen Wuornos. Her entire life was tragic and to comment on it here would be inappropriatly lengthy. There is one thing, however, that bears mentioning...
I have heard/read Wuornos referred to as the "first lesbian serial killer", a "lesbian serial killer", and a "lesbian" (as in the Isthmus review) on several occasions. I couldn't disagree with the use of 'lesbian' more if I tried. The truth is that we don't know whether Aileen was a lesbian or not. She may have had an experience that people are excited to label lesbian, but one relationship between a physically, sexually, severely emotionally abused woman and another shiftless one does not a lesbian relationship make. I am of the opinion that prior to the attack that seemed to start her killing spree, Wuornos would have "fallen in love"--if that is how we are describing this relationship--with a man if he had shown her genuine affection and attempted to take care of her. She wanted the love and affection and not necessarily from a woman. Therein lies the difference.
I do need to clarify that I am not romanticizing lesbian relationships. They can be abusive, neglectful and also peopled with abused and needy women, but the primary desire is for a woman---not the affection itself. I am also of the opinion that these things can be fluid, but if we must use a label for fluid sexuality in women, it isn't lesbianism but more likely bisexuality or nothing at all.
Regardless, we don't know enough about Wuornos, her sexual desires, and the direction in which they flowed most often to know whether she was truly a lesbian. I for one would like people who use labels to use them with a bit more awareness of what they actually mean.
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